Jan 14 and 15 - A whole lot of eating but not a whole lot cooking going on

Little Shack and His Delicious Ryan Beverage

Jan 14 Cauliflower Soup with Pecorino Romano and Truffle Oil
Jan 15 Spicy Desperation Asian Slaw and Tom Yum Soup

  I made the most amazing soup on Thursday and we ate that Friday for dinner with some fresh pumpernickel again. I was planning to make a big salad with some beautiful yellow beets that I had roasted but we ended up going to to meet my sister and her husband for a bite, so I skipped them. Instead we ended up downtown at the Marche on Yonge St, back after a six year absence. It's not always easy to find a spot where everyone can find something that they will want to eat and we thought this would be pretty agreeable to everyone. Brother in law had a burger and said he enjoyed it, my sister had a veggie red curry and seemed to enjoy that too. Phew.

I had a really nice glass of wine, a surprisingly fresh and tasty salad and Shack had a dozen oysters that were very delicious, if not clumsily shucked (i found bits of shell in all of mine) but the young man who shucked them was so charming and helpful and gracious that I will overlook that. He also order a super thin crust pizza that was very good, despite being a wee bit oily.
All in all, not so bad.

Saturday, we took the kid for a swim at their hotel and then drove over to St Lawrence Market to show them around and let everyone, once again, choose something to their liking to eat.

Little Shack was very happy with his freshly made dragon rolls from the sushi place in the basement, brother in law loved his peameal sandwich - who wouldn't love a St Lawrence peameal sandwich? Okay, a vegan might not enjoy it but really, that's their loss. My sister got lasagne from the pasta place upstairs and it was tasty but too gooey for me. I tasted a little cheese ravioli dipped into the tri colour sauce - tomato, alfredo and pesto - and THAT was incredible. I would actually buy that and bring it home and have it for dinner, which is saying a lot because I never buy prepared pasta sauce. NEVER.
Their selection of home made pastas looked fabulous as well but now that I have my own pasta situation going on at home, I would feel guilty buying fresh pasta.

Shack had a smoked meat sandwich and I just had a bite of everything. We finished it all off witha portuguese egg tart from Future Bakery which is always one of my favorite sweet treats.

After the market, we had another couple of hours before my sister had to be at the train station, so we hopped over to the Distillery District. First stop, as always, was Balzac's to show them the beautiful interior and instead of coffee, I got a hot lemon/ginger/maple syrup concoction and I think I have found a new favourite hot drink. I am going to the store for a giant bag of ginger so I can make some this weekend! See, even when I am not cooking something new I am making an effort to try new things when I am out and about eating and drinking. I am nothing if not dedicated to this task.

We made our way to Soma, a great little chocolate shop in the Distillery District. You aren't going to find the wall of chocolate here but the lack of variety is forgotten once you taste the dark chocolate truffle made with 8 year aged balsamic. That was Little Shack's choice and he gave it a big thumb's up as he sucked away at the melting chocolate in his greedy little $2 truffle needing mouth. We also tried the butter caramel with fleur de sel, a pecan butter crunch and a chewy toffee dipped in Venezuelan dark chocolate and then rolled in something that seems to be related to an exotic corn flake. You can watch the chocolatiers at work on the other side of a big plate glass window while you enjoy your truffles and something hot to drink.

I was alone for dinner because the boys were going out to do boyish things so I was free to make myself something that nobody likes but me. The problem is that would require a trip out in the snow to walk 1.5 km to the grocery store in the dark. Alone.

Okay, now this is the tough part about this challenge. I know not every meal is going to be totally exciting and result in photos that look like they just stepped out of an issue of Saveur,  but tonight was truly about "what do I have in the house that isn't going to kill me?" It's time's like this that I occasionally wish I wasn't so averse to frozen dinners and the like.

I defrosted a bag of Tom Yum soup I made in December and I wanted a salad of some sort to go with it. I went through the fridge and this is what I put together:

Mamashack's Desperation Spicy Asian Slaw

3 tlbs rice wine vinegar
1 tbls mirin
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp chili garlic sauce
pinch salt
pinch sugar

1 cup of bagged broccoli slaw SHUT UP I KNOW
1/2 cup cooked and cooled edamame
1 small roasted yellow beet
pinch of toasted seeds - in this case chia, flax and pumpkin

Mix the dressing and toss the slaw, the edamame and the beet all together and let sit for about ten minutes before grabbing a fork and eating the whole bowl. If I had it, It would be even better with some cilantro in it.

It is actually very tasty and would make a nice side to the grilled flank steak or chicken. I enjoyed my bowl of desperation slaw and I really enjoyed the tom yum soup and what I really wanted was whole wheat pasta with olive oil, garlic, lots of chili flakes and rapini. Because the boys hate rapini and so I only cook with it when I am home alone but it was all about that darned 1.5km walk in the dark to the grocery store. Well, that and the fact that I was already wearing pyjamas.